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Roker Roundtable: Where will Jobe Bellingham fit into Sunderland’s team next season?

The signing of the Birmingham midfielder was confirmed earlier this week, so we asked our writers for their thoughts on which position he’ll play and what he might add to our team

Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Joseph Tulip says...

The arrival of Bellingham is exciting and I have no doubt that he’s here to play.

At seventeen, he already has Championship experience but make no mistake: this is a high profile signing for Sunderland. There’ll be extra attention on us now that we’re the home club of a player with a brother who’s a global star.

I also see Bellingham fitting in where Amad left off, and I don’t see any problems with him adapting to our style or play or slotting into an environment that’s filled with hungry, talented young players.

With Tony Mowbray at the helm, Bellingham has a head coach who’ll make sure the increased media attention won’t become too much of a distraction. He’ll simply encourage his natural ability to shine through, along with our other young guns.

The signing of Bellingham also helps to raise our profile as a club; not in terms of our rich history and standing in the game, but in terms of our progression from a fallen giant to a club that has a clear vision and an ambition to return to the level it once graced.

I’m sure Mowbray and his charges will relish this high profile opportunity. I wish Bellingham well and I hope he can gel with the likes of Patrick Roberts as well as Amad did.

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Kevin Campbell says...

He goes straight into the team, for me.

The philosophy under the current regime at Sunderland has been, ‘If you’re good enough, you’re old enough’, and albeit in a small sample size, it appears that Bellingham is definitely good enough.

He’s coming to the club for a decent fee from a Championship rival and with with senior football experience already, so in my mind, he’s coming to play.

As far as his inclusion and position in the starting eleven is concerned, I think he actually fits in quite nicely.

The departure of Amad really works in his favour in terms of getting into the team and if we can retain them, I think a front three of Jack Clarke, Patrick Roberts and Bellingham in the centre is as potent as any trio of players in Championship.

He appears to be as exciting a prospect as his brother was at the same age, so the more football he can get, the better for his development.

I’m really excited about this signing and think he could be extremely potent for us this coming season. I say get him on the field and good luck to the rest of the division in stopping him.

Phil West says...

I see Bellingham as being a dynamic all-round midfield option, someone who could excel in a freer role, but who could also screen the back four, break up the play and give us some solidity when needed.

At seventeen, he’s physically impressive and from what we’ve already seen of him, he’s a rangy and powerful player with a keen eye for a pass- exactly the attributes we need in our midfielders, given the style of football we play and the system we like to use.

In terms of where he fits in, I can see Tony Mowbray gradually phasing him into the team, possibly with some early appearances from the bench before he takes the next step in becoming a regular starter.

Our pre-season tour of the United States will be key for Bellingham as he gets used to his new environment and begins to build relationships with his teammates. There’s going to be some real competition for places in the engine room next season, and that can only be a good thing as we aim to mount a promotion challenge.

Although there’s an understandable temptation to throw him straight in and see how he adapts, Mowbray’s policy with young players is to build them up slowly and gradually increase their game time, thereby ensuring that they develop at their own pace. He’s done it with many of our players and I can see Bellingham taking the same path.

I fully agree with Kev that this is a tremendously exciting signing, and I can’t wait to see how he goes.

If we’re patient and willing to judge him purely on his own merits and not merely as ‘the brother of Jude’, he could prove to be another exciting addition to our team, and he’s at the perfect club for up and coming young talent to thrive, too.

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